One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a young bird) leave its nest on becoming able to fly.
- ‘The council will now have to wait for the eggs to hatch and the chicks to fly the nest before sending the demolition men back in, unless a bid for a special licence to remove the nest is granted.’
- ‘It is fascinating keeping an eye on them and I look forward to seeing the eggs hatch and the young birds fly the nest.’
- ‘The eggs have now hatched into four tiny pied wagtails, and Mr Thompson and his men are waiting for them to fly the nest, so the truck can go back on the road.’
- ‘What happens is when they fly the nest the muscles in their wings aren't quite strong enough.’
- ‘Now the three fledglings are taking to the skies every day as they prepare to fly the nest, although they return home to the quarry each night.’
- ‘They have protected the nest since March, and continue to do so now the fledglings are almost ready to fly the nest.’
- ‘The nestlings, grey coloured until they get their adult feathers, fly the nest 17-21 days after hatching.’
- 1.1informal (of a young person) leave their parents' home to set up home elsewhere.
- ‘Admittedly, they are a bit young yet to be flying the nest, and I wasn't intimating that I was especially anxious to be rid of them.’
- ‘It wasn't long before she decided to fly the nest and make her way to Paris, where her jobs included modelling, waitressing and learning to cook at the La Varenne school.’
- ‘It's not just that he's upset about his kids flying the nest.’
- ‘So that's another sibling to vacate Southport; another is likely to fly the nest in the not too distant future, even my parents are looking at moving themselves.’
- ‘Several changes in her life, including her children flying the nest, have meant that now is the right time for a change.’
- ‘As a man of almost 70 who has his only two sons still living with him at home at the ages of 38 and 30 and - unfortunately - showing little sign of flying the nest, I would be deliriously happy to have a grandchild.’
- ‘Exasperated parents are handing over thousands of pounds to encourage their grown-up children to fly the nest and take their own first steps on the property ladder.’
- ‘The number of young people in the UK who have yet to fly the nest is still below the European average, and significantly fewer than their counterparts in Italy.’
- ‘When he left for university it was his mum that did all the crying, I was pleased for him for flying the nest and making his own way.’
- ‘Marriages frequently run into trouble under the strain of dealing with rebellious teenagers, or when the children fly the nest.’
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